An Integrated Resource and Waste Management Strategy for USF Tampa Campus: A Systems Approach to Water, Energy, and Food.
Topic: An Integrated Resource and Waste Management Strategy for USF Tampa Campus:
A Systems Approach to Water, Energy, and Food
The objective of this project is to develop an integrated resources and waste management
strategy for the USF-Tampa Campus. Students are required to explore the interconnections
among water, energy, and food sub-systems and how the water, energy, and food nexus is
used in strategic resources management for campus. This project will provide students with the
opportunity to apply the systems approach for improving the overall resource efficiency of the
Traditionally we consider water, energy, and food as independent systems and therefore, we
optimize them independently. However, water, energy, and food systems are inextricably linked
and independent resource optimization often misses important interactions and “big picture”
system-level effects. As a result, this approach performs inadequately and often creates
unintended consequences. Exploring the synergies and negative interactions between these
sub-systems and optimizing the overall performance and efficiency requires a holistic approach
– Systems Thinking.
This project is designed to apply a systems approach to the water, energy, and food systems of
USF-Tampa Campus. It will allow students to examine the synergies and negative impacts of
potential strategies to address the challenges of water, energy, and food efficiency at different
levels. In developing a strategy to improve the overall efficiency of resource use, one has to
consider different interacting and interdependent resource and waste flows within the campus.
Description of the campus:
As the eighth largest university in the United States and the third largest in the state of Florida,
the University of South Florida (USF) Tampa serves more than 40,000 students and 12,000
faculty and staff. Like many other university campuses, the USF Tampa campus is a veritable
Each group is expected to explore different sources of information through reviewing literature
from online reports, journal articles, newsletters and interviewing relevant departments or
professionals. The list below includes some of the resource information about the campus:
The USF Tampa Campus has its own well system for groundwater supplies, but is also
connected to the City of Tampa water and wastewater systems.
The majority of electricity is supplied from the TECO sub-station at the west corner of the
north campus entrance. There are also several solar power generation systems on
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USF has its own natural gas powered water heaters and chillers centrally located near
the USF water tower. Hot and cold water lines reach every building from this central
The campus runs a biodiesel-fueled fare-free campus bus service, the Bull Runner. The
Bull Runner provides service for trips within the campus, as well as connecting to
neighborhoods. The university extensively uses electric and gasoline golf carts to
minimize operating costs and the carbon footprint.
Meal service on campus is contracted to Aramark Corporation. There are also other
companies which cater and provide foods for special occasions. In addition USF has an
on-campus garden where students are able to gain organic farming and/or gardening
experience. USF Community Gardens is dedicated to creating and managing a large
scale student-run community garden and farmers’ market on campus. This community
garden provides fresh organic fruits and vegetables for students and faculty.
Resource use and waste are not generated independently of one another. However, resource
and waste streams are generally managed independently. While efficiency gains may be found
by updating resource and waste stream infrastructure, an integrated systems approach can
suggest ways to optimize the resource, and waste systems holistically. In order to achieve our
Climate Action goals of a 50% reduction in carbon-equivalent emissions by 2040, USF will have
to implement innovative strategies and manage its resources efficiently.
USF-Tampa has a long-term Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce and, eventually, eliminate
greenhouse gas emissions from the Tampa campus operations and infrastructure. One of the
primary initiatives is the Student Green Energy Fund. The Student Green Energy Fund is used
to assist USF in conserving energy, reducing energy costs, lowering greenhouse gas emissions,
and promoting renewable energy technologies.
In this project students are expected to go beyond just an energy focus to a water, energy, and
food nexus system and develop integrated solutions that may improve the ability of campus
resource and waste management systems while reducing environmental, social and economic
impact. In developing this plan, students should:
Understand the existing water, energy, and food sub-system in the campus.
Examine the overall data/information for each sub-systems.
Draw simple input-output diagrams.
Identify synergies and negative interactions between all these sub-systems.
Identify the main drawbacks of the existing sub-systems.
Propose potential options to improve the efficiencies.
Prioritize recommended options and identify the low hanging fruits.
Provide justification of potential improvements with respect to economic, social and
Propose comprehensive strategies to improve resource efficiencies.
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In addition, students are expected to make professional assumptions where there is a lack of
information or data. Decision making with a lack of or uncertain information can also be
regarded as a problem-solving activity to cope with future changes and variability.
This project provides students the ability to:
Apply their system thinking knowledge to real world problems.
Understand opportunities and challenges of integrated systems analysis.
Explore the synergies and negative interaction between water, energy, and food.
Examine the social, economic, and environmental benefits associated with integrated
strategy to resource and waste management.
Deliverables and Due Dates
You will work together in teams of 5 or 6 students that will be identified by the instructors. Once
the groups are established, students should arrange meetings to determine how to divide labor
and organize the report. Each group is expected to submit a ‘progress report’ and a ‘final report’,
and each student should submit a peer evaluation by assessing each other’s contribution to the
project. In addition, teams are expected to make in-class group presentation that will be
evaluated by panel members. The deliverables and due dates are shown in table below:
(out of 150)
Project progress report
Final project report
Submit progress report on the indicated due date showing your progress up to the point of
submission. The progress report should at least include the following sections:
Progress Report Outline:
1. Introduction (10 points)
2. Existing resource and waste management strategy (water, energy, and food) (15 points)
3. The weaknesses of the current resource management strategy (15 points)
This report helps the groups to gauge the progress they make and it will give the instructors an
opportunity to provide feedback and guidance. Prepare your progress reports such that they can
be used for your final report and make sure that you include proper referencing according to the
APA document formatting: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/18/
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Final Report Description:
The final project report is due by April 13th. Each student should contribute to the report
compilation guided by a group leader. While different sections of the report can be prepared by
different team members, the final report should be coherent, reviewed by all to have a
consistent third-person voice/perspective and contain the sections provided below.
1. Executive summary (5 points)
2. Introduction (5 points)
? Background information of USF-Tampa campus
? The challenges of campus resource and waste management
? The need for systems approach
3. Existing resources and waste management strategies and their weaknesses (5 points)
? Discuss the current water supply and demand, sanitation and stormwater
management, energy supply, food supply and distribution, gardening and irrigation
? Analyze the main weaknesses of the existing resource and waste management
? Identify and discuss the interconnections within the water, energy, and food systems
(use systems approach)
? Analyze the existing resource and waste management system with respect to the
identified links/ interconnections (consider economic, social and environmental
4. Potential options that improve resource efficiency of the campus (10 points)
? Identify potential options that could improve the resource efficiency and waste
management of the campus
? Examine and discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the different
? Identify the synergies and impacts among the different options
5. Strategy for resource management of the campus (15 points)
? Prioritize and select set of options to maximize the efficiency of the whole system
? Discuss the changes that you recommend to the existing resource and waste
management systems (i.e. technical, regulatory, financial options etc.)
? Discuss economic, social and environment implications of your recommendations
? Propose an integrated strategy that improves the efficiencies of campus resource
6. Conclusion (5 points)
7. Bibliography in APA format (5 points)
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1. Formatting – Arial 11 pt., 1.5 spacing.
2. Editing – Please write succinctly (i.e., conveying ample information to make your case,
while still maintaining readability). Avoid repetitive sentences (i.e., several sentences
that essentially say the same thing). The final product should be well edited to minimize
differences in writing styles between the authors as well as to ensure consistency of
information throughout. You will be marked down if the paper resembles a mere
compilation of three papers written by three authors.
3. Page Requirement – 15 to 20 pages (excluding references)
4. Citing – Use APA citation format. See Purdue APA site:
Communication between group members can be difficult. It is recommended that groups get in
contact as soon as possible. Groups will be created on the course website to facilitate
communication. Additionally, free conference calling services and additional long distance
meeting options are available online at http://www.freeconferencecall.com/ and with other
providers (Google Voice, Skype, etc.).
USF Tampa Campus Web Information:
USF Fact Book: http://www.usf.edu/pdfs/usf-facts-2013-14.pdf
USF Climate Action Plan 2010: http://rs.acupcc.org/site_media/uploads/cap/607-cap.pdf
GHG Emissions Reports 2010-11: http://rs.acupcc.org/site_media/uploads/ghg/9632011-inventorycalculator.pdf
Energy Conservation: http://www.pplant.usf.edu/index.php/areas-and-services/energyconservation
Water Quality: http://www.pplant.usf.edu/pdf/2012AnnualDrinkingWaterQualityReport.pdf
Stormwater Discharge Policy: http://regulationspolicies.usf.edu/policies-andprocedures/pdfs/policy-6-023.pdf
USF Food Practices: http://www.campusdish.com/enUS/CSS/UnivSouthFlorida/Sustainability/
Facilities Planning: http://www.usf.edu/administrative-services/facilities-planning/
Botanical Gardens: http://gardens.usf.edu/about/
Eco-Friendly Living in the Residence Halls: http://patel.usf.edu/news/article/eco-friendlyliving-in-the-residence-halls
2010-2020 Tampa Campus Master Plan: http://www.usf.edu/administrativeservices/facilities-planning/divisions/master-plan.aspx
USF Urban Metabolism: http://secondnature.org/blog/20120905/understanding-campusmetabolism-university-south-florida-tampa
The USF STARS report: https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/university-of-south-floridafl/report/2014-01-14/
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